Sam Smith – There are several concerns about the Democratic primary race that are worth keeping in mind, not because they are decisive but because they might have an insufficiently noticed effect. They include:
– Are there too many candidates? It’s an extraordinary number and one of the problems is that it will distort the results of state primaries. In other words, someone might win a state by, say, 29% but not be the collective second or third choice of that state’s voters. In other words, the biggest niche beats the consensus. Among other things, this reflects the lack of clear leadership in the Democratic Party. Of course, still to be enacted ranked choice voting would deal with the problem but that’s for the future.
– Is show business going to beat substance? Trump is our greatest example of image defeating reality, but it is an increasing character of much of American politics. It helps to explain the number of candidates who have personalities but are weak on policy and experience. And it helps to explain why someone of real substance – like Elizabeth Warren – (who comes across as sort of teacherish) isn’t doing as well as she might.
– Are the two leading candidates – Biden and Sanders – too old? Your opinion on this doesn’t matter. It is a decision voters in general are going to make and it could be something of a sleeper. Bear in mind that only 8.4% of those 75 or older work full time in U.S.
– How do you attract white voters if you attack them? Too much liberal talk includes sweeping criticism of whites. Bear in mind the next time you talk about “white privilege” that there are more whites in poverty than there are blacks in total. The rhetoric needs to focus on the guilty leaders and not their followers.